DE L'ORME. 4 De L' Orme is an historical novel ;
the incidents of which occur in France and Spain, in the time of Louis the Thirteenth and
PHILIP the Fourth. It is a work of most respectable talent, and will undoubtedly add to the reputation of Mr. JAMES. Our pre- sent purpose, however, in noticing the book, is to point out a pic- ture of civic insurrection, in the second volume, in which our readers will find a somewhat more than analogous representation of the heart-rousing events that have so lately filled the minds of all Europe. The distant booming of the coming storm—the swell and the gust of popular fury—the clang of collision between the unarmed breasts of the peasantry and the steeled fronts of the
soldiery—brino. before ,us not only the scenes that have past in France, but, bya species of second-sight, the probable events about to come to pass in Spain—in Catalonia, that very province which the novelist has made the seat of the imaginary conflict. • The action described partially in the following extract, occurs at Bar- celona.
"A distant shout reached my ear, and then all was silent. There was something ominous in the sound, for it contained a very different tone from that which bursts from a crowd on any occasion of mirth or re- joicing. It was a cry somewhat mingled of horror and hate ; at least my fancy lent it such a character. At the same time I heard the soldiers in the court below running out to the gates, as if they had been disturbed by the same sound, and went to inquire into its cause. Little Achilles had not heard it, so deeply was he engaged in the worship of the purple god, and the moment he dismissed the bottle, he recommenced his attack upon a fine piece of mountain-mutton, which still remained in the bas- ket; but in a moment or two his attention was called by a renewal of the shouts, and by the various ekclamations of the soldiers in the court, from which we gathered that, most unhappily, some new, outrage had been offered to the people, who, encouraged probably by the news of a revolt at Lerida, had resisted, and were even then engaged with the soldiery. " Let them fight it out,' cried my companion, encouraged by the good viands, and still better wine of the Viceroy, 'Let them fight it out !By my great namesake's immortal deeds, methinks I could push a pike against one of those base soldados myself. Pray heaven the peasants cut them up into mincemeat I But while you look out of the window, Monseig- neur, I will lie down, and, in imitation of that most wise animal, an us, will ruminate for some short while after my dinner.'
"As he said, I had placed myself at the window, and while he cast him- self on the bed, and I believe fell asleep, I continued, to watch the various streets within the range of my sight, to discover, if I could, the event of the tumult, the shouts and cries of which were still to be heard, varyiflg. in distance and direction, as if the crowds from which they proceeded were rapidly changing their place. After a moment or two, some mui- ket-shots were heard mingling with the outcry, and then a whole pla- toon. A louder shout than ever succeeded, and then again a deep si- lence. In the mean while, several officers came running at all speed to the arsenal: and in a few minutes, two or three small bodies of troops marched out, proceeding up a long street, of which I had a view almost in its whole length. About half way up, the soldiers defiled down ano- ther street to the right, and I lost sight of them. The shouts, however, still continued, rising and falling, with occasional discharges of musketry; but in general the noise seemed to me farther off than it had been at first. Shortly it began to come rapidly near, growing louder and louder ; and straining my eyes in the direction in which the tumult seemed to fie, I beheld a party of the populace driven across the long street I have men- tioned by a body of pikemen.
"The Catalonians were evidently fighting desperately; but the supe- rior skill of the troops prevailed, and the undisciplined mob was borne back at the point of the pike," notwithstanding an effort to make a stand at the crossing of the streets.
"This first success of the military, however, did not absolutely infer that their ascendency would be permanent The tumult was but begun, and far from being a momentary effervescence of popular feeling, whiell beginning, with a few, is only increased by the accession of idlers and vagabonds, this was the pouring forth of long-suppressed indignation— the uprising of a whole people to work retribution.= the heads of their oppressors, and every moment might be expected to bring fresh coM- • By the Author Of" Darnley" and" Itlebelleaft" teal& . fiessidnshISIA. batants, excited bythe thirst of vengeance, and animated by the liepe of liberty.
• " All was now bustle and activity in the arsenal. The gates were shut, thesoldiers under arms, the officers called together, the walls manned ; and, from the court below, the stirring sounds of military preparation rose up to the windows at which I stood, telling that the pressing danger of the circumstanceshad at length roused the Viceroy from his idle mood, and that he was now taking all the means which a good officer might, to put down the insurrection that his negligence had suffered to-break out. From time to time,.! caught the calm full tones of his voice, giving a number of orders and directions—now ordering parties of soldiers to issue forth and support their comrades—commanding at the same time that they should advance up the several streets, which bore upon the ar- senal, taking especial care that their retreat was not cut off, and that a continual communication should be kept up—pointing out to the inferior officers where to establish posts, so as to best guard their Hanks, and avoid the dangers of advancing through the streets of the city, where every house might be considered as an enemy's fort ; and finally directing that in such and such conjunctures, certain flags should be raised on the steeples of the various churches, thus establishing a particular code of signals for the occasion.
In the mean while the tumult in the city increased, the firing be- came more continuous, the bells of the churches mingled their clang with the rest, and the struggle was evidently growing more and more fierce, as fresh combatants poured in on either party. At length I saw an officer riding down the opposite street at full speed, and dashing into the arsenal, the gates of which opened to give him admission, he seemed to approach the Viceroy, whose voice I instantly heard, demanding, Well, Don Ferdinand, where are the cavalry ? why have you not brought up the men-at-arms ?'
"'Because it was impossible," replied the officer; the rebels, your Excellence, have set fire to the stables—not a horse would move, even after Don Antonio Molina had dispersed the traitors that did it.—Not ten horses have been saved. What is to be done, my Lord ?'
" Return instantly,' answered the Viceroy promptly, 'collect your men-at- arms,—bid them fight on foot for the honour of Castile—for the safety of the province—for their own lives. Marshal them in two bodies. Let one march by the Plaza Nueva, down to the port, and the other by the Calle de is Cruz to the Lerida-gate.' " I am sorry to say, the Lerida-gate is in the possession of the rebels, replied the officer. 'A large body of peasants, well armed and mounted, attacked it and drove in the soldiers half an hour ago. They come from Lerida itself, as we learn by the shouts of the others.' " 'The more need to march on it. instantly,' replied the Viceroy. 'See! The flag is up on the Church of the Assumption ! Don Francisco is there, with part of the second tercia. Divide as I have said—send your brother down with one body to the port—with the other, join Don Francisco, at the Church of the Assumption ; take the two brass cannon from the Barrio Nuevo, and march upon the gate of Lerida. Drive back the rebels, or die ?'
" The Viceroy's orders were given like lightning, and turning his horse, the officer rode away with equal speed to execute them. I marked him as he dashed through the gates of the arsenal, and a more soldier-like man I never saw. He galloped fast over the drawbridge, and through the second gate, crossed the open space between the arsenal and the houses of the town, and darted up the street by which he had come, when sud- denly a flash and some smoke broke from the window of a house as he passed ; I saw him reel in the saddle, catch at his horse's mane, and fall headlong to the ground ; while the charger, freed' from his load, ran wildly up the street, till he was out of sight.
"The sentinel on the counterscarp had seen the officer's fall, and in- stantly passed the news to the Viceroy. Pedro Marona!' cried the Count promptly : ' Quick ! mount, and bear the same orders to Don Antonia Molina. Take the Calle de la Paz. Quick !• One way or ano- ther, we lose our most precious moments. Don Ferdinand° should have seen his corslet was better tempered. However, let half a dozen men be sent out to bring him in, perhaps be may not yet be dead.' "The gates of the arsenal were thrown open accordingly, and a small party carrying a board to bring home the body, issued out ; but they had scarcely proceeded half-way to the spot where the officer had fallen, when the sound of the tumult, the firing, the cheers, the cries, the screams, mingled in one terrific roar, rolled nearer and nearer. A single soldier then appeared in full flight in the long street on which my eyes were fixed ; another followed, and another. A shout louder than all the rest rang up to the sky ; and rolling and rushing like the billows of a troubled ocean, came pouring down the street a large body of the Castilian sol- diery, urged on by an immense mass of armed peasantry, with whom the first rank of the Castilians was mingled.
• "Though some of the soldiers were still fighting man to man with the Catalonians, the mass were evidently flying as fast as the nature of the circumstances would permit, crushing and pressing over each other ; and many more must have been trampled to death by the feet of their com- rades than fell by the swords of their enemies. In the meanwhile, the pursuers, the greater part of whom were on horseback, continued spur- ring their horses into the disorderly mass of the fugitives, hewing them down on every side with the most remorseless vengeance ; while from the houses on each hand a still more dreadful and less noble sort of warfare Was carried on against the flying soldiery. Scarce a house but one or two of its windows began to flash with musketry, raining a tremendous Shower of balls upon the heads of the unfortunate Castilians, whogiammed Up in the small space of. a narrow street, had no room either to avoid their own fate or avenge their fellows.
"Just then, however, the pursuers received a momentary check from the the cannon of the arsenal, some of which being placed sufficiently high for the balls to fall amidst the mass of peasantry, without taking effect Upon the nearer body of the flying soldiers, began to operate as a diver- sion in favour of the fugitives. The very sound caused several of the horsemen to halt. At that moment, my eye fell upon the figure of Genies, the smuggler, at the head of the peasantry, cheering them on ; and by his gestures, appearing to tell them, that those who would escape the cannon-balls must close upon those for whose safety they were fired; that now was the moment to make themselves masters of the arsenal ; tuid that if they would but follow close, they would force their way in with the flying soldiers.
." So animated, so vehement was his gesticulation, that there hardly Ileeded words to render his wishes comprehensible. The panic, however, though but momentary, allowed sufficient time for greater part of the sol- ders to throw themselves into the arsenal. Some, indeed, being again mingled with the peasantry, were shut out, and slaughtered to a man the rest prepared to make good the very defensible post they now possessed, lieowing well that mercy was a word they bad themselves blotted out front the language of their enemies."